Older hens got med. starter--withdrawal?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 28, 2011
I have 2 laying hens (ok, one is stubborn right now) and 22 9-week old laying chicks. I have been letting them all hang out together and they are getting along fine, although the chicks have a healthy respect for the big girls. My hens got into the medicated starter feed, and the babies got into the layer feed. Do I need to be concerned? I'm just coming off a withdrawal due to worming the adults, and don't want to go through more (but don't want to make my fam sick either). Advice?
Everything should b okay. There is no real harm done. I would b more concerned about the pullets. High calcium levels in layer pellets are hard on kidneys but 1 day should hurt. I would switch to grower mash for the pullets til they get close to laying age. How do u separate their feed?
I guess that's my problem...I don't know how to separate the feed in a good way but still keep them together. Our coop building has been delayed due to monsoon season here in Michigan haha, so they all live in the garage (ugh). I do have separate quarters for the big girls, but they don't like it, especially since the little ladies get more room. They all eat free-range (large area fenced) all day. If the medicated won't hurt the big girls, should I just put that out for now? The bag says the chicks need it until 16 weeks. I do have flock raiser that I feed my geese if that would be better. Willing to do whatever it takes...just don't know what that is (I tend to sweat the small stuff with my chickens...total greenhorn!)
This is exactly why I feed "All Flock" to everybody. Only chicks IN BROODERS and in their subsequent grow-out coops/pens get medicated chick starter. Nobody gets layer feed at all; I provide crushed oyster shell 24/7 free choice for the layers who take it if they need it. Everybody gets All Flock; if broody hens raise chicks, I will toss some chick starter in their confinement area along with All Flock, so momma doesn't have to break down the All Flock into little bits for the chicks.

Medicated chick starter only has amprolium in it, not a problem for layers. Layer feed, however, is a real problem for baby and growing chicks. So I don't have to keep feed separate for different groups, this method of providing All Flock and crushed oyster shell free choice works for my flock of many different ages of chickens.
I think you have a problem. The Layer has enough calcium in it that it can cause bone deformation or kidney damage in growing chicks if they keep eating it. It is not that they are going to fall over dead the instant they eat a bite of Layer. They won't. But if they continue to eat it, it can cause damage to a growing chick.

It depends on what the "medicated" is in the medicated feed. It is probably Amprolium, Amprol, something like that. But it might be something else and it might be Amprolium plus something else. If it is Amprolium, you should not eat the eggs until it clears out of their system. I do not know what that withdrawal period is for eggs. It is five weeks for meat if you are going to eat the chickens. That seems excessive for eggs, but I really don't know what the correct withdrawal period is.

When I have growing chicks the age of yours with a laying flock, I feed all of them unmedicated chick Grower with oyster shell on the side. The ones that need the calcium get it from the oyster shell and the others do not get more calcium than they need.

It is very possible you have a good reason to feed medicated feed, but unless you know you have a cocci problem, I suggest feeding all of them the Grower and observing the chicks very closely to see if they come down with cocci.

Good luck!
I agree with the last two posts for the most part. Ditch the layer pellets for now, use a general type of poultry feed and throw out oyster shells (dirt cheap around here) for those that need it. Wait a week before eating "medicated" eggs and everyone should be fine. I like to mix the oyster shell in with the scratch and I usually put b.o.s.s. in it too. Not sure if its the best but always do it and I've had no problems.
I tried doing a search on withdrawal periods. In got some that just said don't use Amprolium for laying hens. I did find one that said the withdrawal period was 7 days. So I would think that one week withdrawal would be sufficient.

You can always contact the manufacturer of your specific feed and see what they say about it. They should be able to answer your question.
Someone said I have a problem...oh no! I'm freaking out. The babies only got a little, and just over a couple of days...just the ones who dared go into the big girls' domain before they were chased out. I have been so careful! It seems nothing is going right these days!! What do I need to watch for in the babies? They are healthy and strong and play outside almost all day long. I have really pampered them and didn't lose anyone yet. So bummed...I was just falling in love...
Ok, take a deep breath. In an ideal world you would feed all the chickens whatever they should be getting at their age. However, I personally live in a practical world, which means babies who are raised by broodies eat the layer pellets along with their moms. The moms (and other laying hens in the pen) get ahold of some of the medicated starter I put out for the chicks. If I run out of one thing everybody eats whatever I have on hand until I get more of the other. If you're sensitive/allergic to amprolium I might be extra careful, but otherwise don't worry about it. From the drug company's website:

AMPROLIUM has the additional benefit to be the only coccidiocide in the world
permitted in a variety of situations including:

•• Throughout the lifecycle of birds: from day old chicks through the
day-of-slaughter with no withdrawal period in meat*

•• Whatever the type of production: broilers, broiler breeders,
replacement pullets or laying hens*

•• Whatever the weather conditions: no concern with heat stress

•• Whatever the farming conditions: AMPROLIUM is not an
antibiotic and can be used in antibiotic free farms.

* Since its listing as annex II drug (Official Journal of European Community, published July 18th, 2001) AMPROLIUM does not require an MRL when administered orally. Since 2001, a number of different companies have successfully registered therapeutic AMPROLIUM based products with zero day withdrawal periods in both eggs and poultry meat.

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